That feeling of dread…

The other day I had an appointment with my midwife, and although it was just my 25 week check up, I was dreading it.

I had that feeling of dread in my stomach.

I sat the reception waiting area biting my lip. I know it’s silly, I had nothing to be afraid of….

But I sat nervously in that fuzzy uncomfortable chair; the fabric was irritating my legs making me shift slightly from side to side.

I consciously tried my best to sit still and distract myself. I watched a mother with her new baby all wrapped up. She was just staring and stroking her tiny face.

They made me smile. I was finally relaxing a bit now.

I took a deep breath…

Then suddenly….

“Emma Ottaway come in” called my midwife. Oh no, the nerves came racing back.

I walked in and pushed open the door only to sit on yet another uncomfortable, this time plastic, chair.

My midwife’s friendly smiling face greeted me. You’d think she’d help me relax, but she didn’t because I knew any minute now IT was about to happen….

The routine questions were over far too quickly for my liking; then it was time…

My arms tensed up as she smiled at me and said: “Now we’ll do your blood pressure and take some blood.”

Yes, the moment I was dreading was having my blood pressure taken. And I don’t mean it makes me feel a little uncomfortable…

I mean I feel like I’m being suffocated. Like I’m going to explode, and there’s nothing I can do about it.

You may think it’s a silly thing to be so upset about, especially as soon I’ll be having a baby (a much bigger deal!), but I just can’t help it.

It’s like when children with autism get overwhelmed by something, like climate change, a busy supermarket or a loud TV or drilling sound. They too feel the nerves building up inside them and then more often than not; they suddenly can’t take it anymore…

But you see the difference between me and having my blood pressure taken is, I know how to express my nerves, deal with them (as best I can) and focus on something else until the whole thing is over.

Autistic children, however, can find these steps extremely difficult.

If you are a parent of carer of an autistic child who experiences sensory overloads like this, then it’s important to watch out for times they may get overwhelmed. These are key opportunities for you to teach and help them with their expressive language.

Modelling language, using ‘feelings’ visual aids and self-assessment charts are all a great way of helping your child develop these things and communicate better with you.

Remember whatever strategy you try to be patient, be positive and be consistent.

Let me know how you get on!

For more support in helping your child manage their sensory needs and sensitivities join ‘The Unlimited Autism Success Inner Circle’ where I share more tips and advice for parents and carers just like you.

And what’s more, for just 4 more days I’m offering parents and carers a 30-day FREE test drive of ‘The Unlimited Autism Success Inner Circle’ plus I’ll be sending all new members four free autism resources as a welcome gift.

If managing and understanding your child’s needs, supporting their learning and helping them progress is important to you then click below to join today.

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Speak with you soon until then,

Live every moment, Love beyond words and make a difference today!

Emma Ottaway

The Ambitious Autism Ambassador